This one has been beat to death, but some people still aren’t accepting it. The WinHEC build just wasn’t meant to show off Longhorn to a consumer audience. Really this shouldn’t be breaking news for anyone who has paid attention to the whole discussion, but I figured I’d chime in as another voice of reason. At the same time the reason you don’t hear many people saying this is because of NDAs. So, I’ll put it as succinctly as possible to avoid any kind of violation: That’s just not the UI.
Think about it. When you consider just how neat all the slapped together demos being shown for Avalon are, do you honestly believe what you saw in the WinHEC build is the best Microsoft’s design teams, filled with of all sorts of talented designers that money can buy, can come up with in all these years for the next generation Windows user interface? C’mon, be critical all you want, but use those brain cells just a little.
Give ’em some time folks, you’ll know when the release is meant to wow that target audience. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if PDC is the place where that happens.